Nan Rich Should Repudiate “Support” From Mysterious Anti-Crist Groups

Senator Nan Rich has attempted to frame herself as the “true Democrat” and the progressive alternative to Governor Charlie Crist in the Democratic Primary election. But Senator Rich has become the inadvertent beneficiary of a campaign full of poorly executed dirty tricks by those opposing Governor Crist, presumably Republicans.

The latest in the line of dirty tactics designed to suppress support for Crist in the Democratic Primary has been heard in the form of a statewide robo call this week. In recent months, independent groups have waged a campaign of fear and demagoguery against Governor Crist. While Governor Crist has flip-flopped on a number of issues throughout his political career, most long-term officeholders in Florida too have evolved on issues. That is not excuse Governor Crist but to merely point out he is not as unique as many of his detractors claim.

A careful examination of the public records of Bill Nelson, Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles will yield similar flip-flops and evolution on issues as Crist has demonstrated. Those great leaders however did not have the stench of scandal and the appearance of opportunism that Crist demonstrates. Yet it is worth noting that Nelson’s rhetoric in supporting the Reagan economic agenda in 1981 as Democratic Congressman representing the Space Coast and the eastern portion of Orlando was very different than when he ran for Governor statewide in 1990. His rhetoric by 2000 when he was running for US Senate did not resemble his early 1980s views at all. Similar comparisons can be made of Chiles and Graham through the years.

This is not to say Crist is a Graham/Chiles/Nelson quality candidate or officeholder. He clearly is not and his campaign has already begun to expose the numerous flaws and weaknesses that Governor Crist does posses. But to pretend as if he is somehow unique in his propensity to change positions of critical issues is absurd.

Senator Rich has stated she will support the nominee of the Democratic Party. She can begin by being magnanimous now and repudiating the efforts of Republicans and other anti-Crist forces to suppress Democratic turnout and enthusiasm. She can do herself great credit by standing tall and though these attacks indirectly benefit her, making it clear she does not support this style of dirty campaigning.

Barring an epic collapse, Governor Crist will be nominated by the Democratic Party. Irrespective of whatever personal views Democrats across Florida have towards Governor Crist, it is incumbent upon all that want to see Rick Scott defeated in November that these shady attacks stop.

Senator Rich alone has the ability to stop these attacks from resonating in the fashion those agitating from the outside would hope. Our hope is that she will take this opportunity to do the right thing and cement her legacy as a progressive champion who was a great servant for the Democratic Party.

38 comments

  1. Those responsible have have already been interviewed by CNN and say another or rather a 3rd will come out next week. Those responsible are previous Crist supporters & friends and did in the 2006 Democratic primary along with many other primaries. I’m still attempting Crist’s position statement on his friends so called “dirty tricks” and he has never called them out. I’m so confused as to why everyone wants Senator Rich to go over & beyond the former Republican Gov. Why is the bar placed so high for her and so low for Crist?

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  2. How is playing exactly what Charlie Crist said a ‘dirty trick?’ It’s probably the most fair type of attack ad.

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  3. Let’s see–so, Nan Rich who is ignored 100% by Crist should come out and defend him against Republicans using his own prior words against him? Last’s night’s robocall was Crist speaking out for Governor Palin. (So he CAN support women candidates–just not Nan Rich)..
    Maybe at the DEBATE Crist was too afraid to have Nan Rich would have said that. JEEZ.
    Not fair Squeezers to frame it like this.

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    1. Shouldn’t Senator Rich strive to be better and more respectful than Governor Crist considering she is running as the “true progressive?” That is all we are saying here. It does not matter what Governor Crist has or hasn’t done in this campaign. I think we all agree his disappointing decision not to debate Senator Rich and his continued tactical campaign errors are worthy of discussion. But nasty, negative campaigning is not what we endorse or support here and we know Senator Rich herself has not engaged in such nastiness so we are asking her to distance herself from it.

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      1. Kartik, you are so off base here, It will be my pleasure to pick you off. Nan had nothing to do with those calls. let charlie fight his own battles. You are losing all credibility with me and other Progressives. I understand you riding the fence on an endorsement. You don’t want to rock the boat. However, as an avowed Progressive your middle of the road stance will forever brand you as a moderate. Frankly I feel you have sold out. I hope one day you grow a set.

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      2. We’ve rocked the boat plenty here. But the fact is we don’t like Republicans interfering in a Democratic Primary in order to get a desired result. This is simply put a Republican dirty trick to influence the electorate. Nixon did stuff like this calling primary voters to get them to nominate the perceived weaker candidate McGovern over Muskie in 1972. True progressives, which Nan Rich claims to be should denounce these sorts of dirty tricks and efforts by Republicans to meddle in our primaries.

        Speaking of endorsements, every single daily publication that has made an endorsement in this race has to my knowledge endorsed Charlie Crist. These are newspapers that screen and interview both candidates. Newspaper Editorial Boards do not always automatically rubber stamp establishment or political party favorites. The fact that no paper in the state has yet to endorse Senator Rich speaks to issues we articulated in our editorial about her lack of executive experience and the extensive qualifications Crist does posses for this office. We declined to endorse Crist because he is not sufficiently progressive. We did not endorse Rich because her campaign has been poorly run and without any sort of executive experience we must look out how her campaign has been executed and question her ability to lead the state. Our writers are all registered Democrats casting ballots in the primary. I am not sure if any actually plan to vote for Governor Crist (our entire staff may be voting privately for Senator Rich for all I know), but as a publication with a higher standard and threshold for supporting candidates we could not in good conscience recommend Senator Rich to be Governor.

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      3. demodaysi · ·

        I could care less for the newspaper endorsements. They want to sell more papers in the general election, and one republican running against another republican using the democratic designation will sell lots of papers. We say Crist has name recognition and Nan is only a state senator from her district. WELL, SO WAS MARCO RUBIO when he beat Florida’s outgoing Governor Crist and Jolly wasn’t even an elected officer when he beat state CFO Alex Sink for a congressional seat. Rick Scott also did not have state name recognition when he ran and beat former CFO Alex Sink. Did we forget Eric Cantor? .It can be done. These winners have shown it! Go Nan!

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      4. Wow Joe.

        If Nan is more qualified and Kartik has sold out has every newspaper in the state supporting Crist selling out?

        I think it is very poor form to say someone sold out when Nan Rich supporters are embracing republican dirty trucks and tactics. Kartik may not think progressive choice is an issue but most of us do think it is.

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      5. Kartik is not referring to Progressive Choice. The calls are being made by past friends and allies of Charlies. And yes the corporate media has sold out to Charlie. They are as fooled by his smoke and mirrors as you are.

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      6. Tom Bryson · ·

        This is just plain silly. The calls are being made on behalf of the Scott campaign for the simple reason that the Republican source, just like the rest of the free world, is convinced that Charlie is the nominee. Are the Scott attacks on Charlie a “dirty trick” intended to screw up Charlie’s bid for the nomination or are they intended to screw up his bid for the Governorship?

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  4. Tom Bryson · · Reply

    Where is the evidence the robo calls are linked to the 527organization Progressive Choice and where is the evidence that Progressive Choice is a shill for Rick Scott?

    Certainly Graham, Chiles and Nelson altered their positions on numerous issues over time to accommodate a changing electorate, different constituencies and new political realities. However to compare the evolution of Graham, Chiles or Nelson to Christ’s overnight epiphany regarding nearly every issue is ludicrous.

    The soft gentle rolling landscape of central Florida remind me of the Grand Tetons.

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    1. Progressive Choice has not been mentioned in this editorial. These particular calls are being pushed by Republicans not PC.

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      1. Tom Bryson · ·

        Apologies for the mistaken inference.

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      2. No worries. Progressive Choice is a separate issue as we have no evidence that the Republicans are behind that group. Speculation has been rampant about that groups motivation and funding but we don’t want to engage in that here. 🙂

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      3. Yesterday Tampa Bay Times ran article citing Tom Lee of Brandon as the (R) making the robocalls you are referring to. Just remember that this is how dirty trickster Republicans operate–and the RPOF are like the mob,and may have mob connections IMO. I am disappointed that Tom Lee is marching to the drum of these nasties, he is one of the few R’s in Tally who isn’t a sleazy sellout. But he is a builder/developer, so can’t help doing what he is asked to do to get Scott a second term (gawd help us all!)

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  5. Bill Clinton signed the defense of marriage act y’all ! It is okay to change over time!!!!

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    1. That was at a time when opposing gay marriage was within the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Did the things which Crist said 2006 sound like someone who was within the mainstream of the Democratic Party?

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  6. In an era when everything a candidate has said or done is on tape somewhere, this type of “attack ad” will be the norm on both sides. The Democrats are playing back Rick Scott tapes as well, and, as a Democrat, I have have even posted some on my Face Book page. Once the primary is over and the battle really begins we will drown in the dirty laundry being exposed by both sides. I have always believed this would be the dirtiest gubernatorial race in the nation….we are just seeing the start. This is the politics of the age of technology.

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  7. demodaysi · · Reply

    I can’t believe the author of this article feels Senator Nan Rich should repudiate these robocalls. I worked on the Jim Davis campaign in 2006 and I know how nasty Crist got. I don’t think she is even mentioned in the ads, so why should she put herself in the fray. Crist has ignored her this whole campaign, so he should not expect her to do anything for him. I don’t think she owes him anything. Let him clean up his own mess.

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    1. I, too, worked on the Jim Davis campaign and so watched close up how horrid Crist’s campaign was to the 2006 Democratic candidate. That empty rocking chair ad..over and over and over here in the Tampa market. Maybe I’d start to feel differently if Crist had debated NAN RICH, but all we are to do is take the word of the insiders that he has really changed? On a daily basis I am surprised how little the party leaders think of the voters.
      We have county commission, school board, and judges in the primary. Lots of great Democrats. In the general it will be quite natural to vote Demcoratic for the real Democrats and ignore the top of the ticket if there is not a real Democrat there,

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      1. Susan McGrath · ·

        “Real” Democrats. Love that term. What is a “real” Democrat and who gets to make that call? Anyway, real Democrats won’t stay home and allow Rick Scott four more years.

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  8. Wendy Sejour (not hiding behind a pseudonym) · · Reply

    The person who should be repudiating these calls is Crist. Why is it Nan Rich’s responsibility to carry water for Crist. As others have pointed out, she is not mentioned in the calls so why should she interject herself. If the Crist campaign is so upset by these calls then Crist should stand up and counter them; although it would be pretty hard to counter against yourself. Also, the source of these calls is not mysterious, it has been know from almost day one and the Tampa Bay Times (cross posted in the Miami Herald) has an excellent article out today with an interview of the person who is proudly claiming responsibility. http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/15/4290999/sen-tom-lee-is-behind-those-conservative.html

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  9. Nasty and misleading comments in campaign ads, and TV video’s are common in the
    political arena. It seems that the media is complicit in the process, the campaign
    cycle is a continuous effort and contributes favorably to the bottom line of these
    outlets…..It would be beneficial if the media would reserve their endorsements of
    candidates, just provide their research on the issues and the candidates and report
    the facts without bias.

    In my opinion the party was derelict in their duty regarding the Governor’s race. It
    just seems that the Crist disregard of Rich and a debate wasn’t well thought out.

    The bottom line here as we are closer to the general election, must be to remove
    Scott from office. The only way to achieve that is to play the winning hand. And
    that requires the players to join together, if they are in fact working for the benefit
    of the people….

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  10. I already voted for Nan Rich.

    But my view on this is that the willingness of progressive Democrats to let conservative Republicans who want to keep Rick Scott in office speak for them is alarming.

    I applaud the Florida squeeze for writing this. This doesn’t impact whether you support Rich as a candidate but it should say something about the progressive movement that so many progressives are willing to applaud the tactics of the far right.

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    1. Dems in Action · · Reply

      You are way off base here. There isn’t a progressive I know that would “applaud” these tactics. Nan has nothing to do with these calls. She also thinks they are despicable. But the treatment of Rich by Crist is also despicable.

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      1. Susan McGrath · ·

        How has Charlie Crist treated Nan Rich despicably? Because he’s focusing on beating Rick Scott? That’s being strategic. He gains nothing by debating a non-viable candidate.

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    2. You haven’t seen nothing yet. Scott and his swift boaters will destroy Crist if he is our candidate.

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  11. Fla Dem · · Reply

    This editorial is a pleasant surprise for a blog that has been in the pocket of both Nan Rich and the Republican/Sugar backed Progressive Choice for months.

    Well done.

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  12. Mark Lynn · · Reply

    All this bickering will soon be over. Nan will get her 30% and Charlie will continue to lead the fight to save FL from four more years of Rick Scott.

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  13. Go Dems · · Reply

    I agree with both this editorial and the comments by some. Both democratic candidates have shown arrogance and entitlement. Ask any former nan staffer how horribly arrogant and unpleasant she is. She feels owed this so is willing to take republican help for this reason.

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    1. You obviously don’t know Nan.

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      1. Joe,

        Talk to Nan’s former legislative and campaign staffers about working for her. She’s a nightmare!

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    2. Broward Bob · · Reply

      Sad but true. Her smile is nice but fake.

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  14. Unfortunately this post just plays into the hands of the powers-that-be who chose Crist as the Democratic nominee to blame Nan Rich and her supporters if Crist loses the election.

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    1. It is her fault if she encourages these sorts of attacks.By saying something she could have put a stop to it when progressive choice first set up shop.

      It is known she even courted republicans. She is guilty as dining Crist loses. The FDP has also been sidelined by needing to remain neutral thanks to quixotic run for governor.

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  15. Filipe Guerreo · · Reply

    Nan Rich is an incredible woman. I have seen her speak, met her personally, and I have seen that she has an amazing grassroots organization. I haven’t seen a single Charlie supporter at any event. I always see Nan’s people at the DEC, the LGBT caucus, disability caucus, etc. That’s why I voted for her already. Because I can see that she has such a diverse, committed, passionate following. I don’t dislike Charlie per say, but I’m just remembering back not too long ago in 2010 when he gave speeches claiming to be the true conservative. Not to mention his record. He voted for 7 YEARS for the gay adoption ban. I understand that he can change his views, heck so do I! But I just find it hard to believe that he is a total Democrat now.. how is that possible? You can’t fight for one group your entire adult life and then take our party as your last resort. I know Nan is very pro-education and pro-equality so I just had to vote for her and I told everyone I know. She deserves to be in the governor’s mansion.

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  16. It's 2014 not 2006 · · Reply

    The shotgun alliance between Nan Rich supporters and the GOP is in full force. Why do Rich supporters contestant lay cite and promote one of your rival sites, Sunshine State News which is a known republican front? Why do they feed SSN? What about the constant posting of republican talking points about Crist?

    They are willing to sell their soul yet claim we’ve all sold out. Sad and sick.

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  17. OrlandoChris · · Reply

    I am very pleased that Adrian Wyllie will be a part of the debate. Floridians deserve to hear from all the candidates to be well informed. Adrian Wyllie deserves my vote and yours too. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round, election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of Florida and stop voting for these ‘paid for’ career politicians that are only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians. Even if it’s just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do what is right for our (yours and your children’s) future and vote for Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very powerful. Visit his website today.!

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